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Skeletal Muscle Changes in Chronic Cardiac Disease and Failure

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ABSTRACT

Peak exercise performance in healthy man is limited not only by pulmonary or skeletal muscle function but also by cardiac function. Thus, abnormalities in cardiac function will have a major impact on exercise performance. Many cardiac diseases affect exercise performance and indeed for some cardiac conditions such as atherosclerotic heart disease, exercise testing is frequently used not only to measure functional capacity but also to make a diagnosis of heart disease, evaluate the efficacy of treatment, and predict prognosis. Early in the course of cardiac diseases, exercise performance will be minimally affected but with disease progression impairment in exercise capacity will become apparent. Ejection fraction, that is, the percent of blood volume ejected with each cardiac cycle is often used as a measure of cardiac performance but frequently there is a dissociation between the ejection fraction and exercise capacity in patients with heart disease. How abnormalities in cardiac function impacts the muscles, vasculature, and lungs to impact exercise performance will here be reviewed. The focus of this work will be on patients with systolic heart failure as the incidence and prevalence of heart failure is reaching epidemic proportions and heart failure is the end result of many other chronic cardiac diseases. The prognostic role of exercise and benefits of exercise training will also be discussed. © 2015 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 5:1947‐1969, 2015.

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Figure 1. Figure 1. Pathophysiological mechanisms impairing skeletal muscle function in heart failure.


Figure 1. Pathophysiological mechanisms impairing skeletal muscle function in heart failure.
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Peter J. Kennel, Donna M. Mancini, P. Christian Schulze. Skeletal Muscle Changes in Chronic Cardiac Disease and Failure. Compr Physiol 2015, 5: 1947-1969. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c110003